Washington Post Letter to the Editor: Don’t Send Al!
by Peter M. Beck
American University
Submitted 12 May 2009

Victor Cha makes several points about the two American journalists detained in North Korea that are either uninformed, disingenuous or, misguided [“Al Gore’s North Korea Mission,” op-ed, May 9]; article link:
Go read it

For starters, is Cha certain the two women were arrested in China? If, as several news reports suggest, the two voluntarily crossed the Tumen River, then Pyongyang is well within its rights to detain and investigate them. Secondly, how does Cha know that the two are being kept in “barren prison cells,” given the fact he was unaware that the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang has already met with them on Washington’s behalf? Pyongyang's rap sheet is plenty long if we just stick to the facts.

Also, does Cha seriously think the Obama Administration is doing anything less than everything possible to win their release? Moreover, does Cha really believe the North is prepared to throw the Americans into one of its gulags? North Korea’s leaders are certainly evil, but they are not fools.

Finally, Cha suggests sending Al Gore to Pyongyang to win the journalists' release. However, our special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, is more than qualified to undertake such a mission. Let’s keep the Goracle in reserve. The fun has only just begun.

See Beck's Jan. 2007 Article
"Meet an American Imperialist", April 28, 2007
"Expanding Korea's Soft-Power", May 26, 2007
"Leaving Seoul", July 11,2007
"Leaps of Faith", Sept. 2,2007
A Brewing Revolution, Oct. 2007
Talking-points for The Sejong Society, Feb. 2008
Every body should see the film, "The Crossing". May 31, 2008
Yonsei Univ. Syllabus, July 2008
When Bubbles Burst-Daewoo All Over Again, April 11, 2009

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